Political Animal


November 06, 2012 3:19 PM Rather’s “Gut” Perfect End To MSM Campaign Punditry

By Ed Kilgore

It’s probably appropriate, if sad, that a relic of the days when three network news anchors stood athwart American political journalism like colossi nicely sums up this year’s MSM punditry. Here’s Dan Rather from today’s “Morning Joe” (via Politico):

Longtime television journalist Dan Rather said on Tuesday that reporters shouldn’t predict elections based on their gut — but added that his tells him Mitt Romney will have a good day.
“Something in my gut tells me that it’s going to be a good day for Romney,” Rather said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “But as a reporter, you don’t report your gut. The polls all indicate, yes, Obama, he has several paths to victory, Romney has only one. But don’t taunt the alligator until after you cross the creek.”

And don’t cross the creek without a paddle, or at least some facts and logic.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.


  • Hue and Cry on November 06, 2012 3:29 PM:

    I posted this before: yeah, Mr. Rather--on why it may be a good day for Romney:

    Hue and Cry on November 06, 2012 3:22 PM:

    I was treated poorly at my polling place--in Southwestern Pennsylvania. Not once but **twice** I was asked to show voter ID. It did not feel like an "ask." Right away it was apparent that-in typical Corbett Republican state intimidation-- paper sheets were front and center on the tables where you first identify yourself. They had the huge "hand holding a drivers license"--making it seem that you needed a driver's license to vote, and above reading in huge letters VOTER ID. I grabbed one of the papers. It was prominently placed for voters--ALTHOUGH--it read "Learn what photo ID you will need for coming elections."
    I did not rebel but showed the ID yet stated to poll staff that I am not required to show voter ID because the courts stopped this law for implentation at this election 11/6/12.
    They acted pissed. At that time I was again asked to show ID. Again I protested, saying I am asked twice???
    I went to vote at the computer--not many people there--and woman came over and told me to close my jacket--the only thing visible on my tee shirt was AFT--teachers union.
    I had my coat shut. It was a blue tee shirt for Obama. I could not believe she interrupted my voting to tell me to close my coat.
    When I got outside I was verbally abused by one of the staff standing less than 100 feet from the door--where people hand out candidate information that people tend to carry in as they go.
    I will deal with this--just wanted to let folks know that voter intimidation is alive in tea-partyville Pennsylvania.
    Can you imagine someone coming up to you when you are engaged in voting? Interrupt you and tell you to close your coat?
    Can you stand that a law was put on hold by the courts in PA. about showing ID -- and poll workers act like you MUST show ID when that is not the case?

  • James M on November 06, 2012 3:35 PM:


    I commented on that in the Days End section, but I was really surprised by Mr Rather's comments. Especially the one where he said that we "Had 2 good men running for president"!

    He then went on to pooh pooh the excesses in the campaign (As though neither candidate had done anything really bad)and then waxed poetic about the beauty of the American democratic experiment and how it made him so proud of this young country, etc., etc.,

    All in all a sad sight....

  • hells littlest angel on November 06, 2012 3:39 PM:

    So this week's right-wing talking points include:

    Chris Christie -- treasonous socialist slob.

    Dan Rather -- straight-talking freedom-loving patriot.

    They run so hard just to stay in place, it's no wonder right-wingers think leftists are lazy.

  • Blairburton on November 06, 2012 3:39 PM:

    What's the frequency, Kenneth?

  • Karen on November 06, 2012 3:41 PM:

    Hue and Cry -- do you live in a Dem district? Also, see the new top post.

  • Kris on November 06, 2012 3:53 PM:

    Remember when Rather was traitorous scum who ended up losing his job because he reported on some forged documents that backed up something we already knew?

  • T2 on November 06, 2012 4:01 PM:

    sorry to say it, but Rather and Brinkley are both sounding a bit 1st Stage.

    I've been hearing several comments today like Rather's.....a feeling that Romney just might do it. Regardless of the polls, regardless of the lies (both sides do it) regardless of the 47%, regardless of the untold wealth and unreleased taxes.....that there's just something that might somehow make people pick him. What in the world could that be?

  • jjm on November 06, 2012 4:03 PM:

    Rather was all out for Reagan as I recall. Southerner to his core, I guess.

  • meady on November 06, 2012 4:04 PM:

    Yeah, I have to question what is up with these ancient news anchors. Rather, Browkaw, Schiefer, Lehrer, Blitzer, even Andrea Mitchell to a degree. Not one of them has been what I would consider impartial over this entire election and I would not place any of them in the lean-Obama camp. Guts, it would appear for this greatest generation are like Republicans, they have their own set of facts that reinforce their own world view...at least for folks over 70.

    Also, what @Blairburton said...

  • Hue and Cry on November 06, 2012 4:07 PM:

    Karen--this city used to be Democratic. In 2011 Republicans seized control, including 5 row offices in my area, which is the county seat. Everybody but the mayor is Republican. The representative--a Republican--has never answered my emails or my letters.
    I was treated terribly at the election polls by scardy cat poll workers--the state has obviously scared the pants off of these elderly poll workers-- and I was ridiculed there, and as I left. I went with my husband, who similarly felt I had mal-treatment from the time I entered until the time I got in the car.
    I worried the entire time that my ballot might be changed. It was sickening.

  • Speed on November 06, 2012 4:20 PM:

    Dan told us that JFK's head went violently forward in the Zapruder film. After that, his career took off.

  • T2 on November 06, 2012 4:51 PM:

    oops....I said Brinkley earlier when I meant Brokaw.....David Brinkley is not making any predictions this go-round.

  • Hue and Cry Foul on November 06, 2012 4:57 PM:

    Speed--cannot believe you posted that hideous remark.
    Shouldn't you be on redstate.com? Did your post skip out on you? You insult the man by saying his career took off?

    His career took off?

    You are a p---- of s---

  • Honeyboy Wilson on November 06, 2012 5:14 PM:

    What's the frequency, Kenneth?

  • John on November 06, 2012 6:07 PM:

    As Nate Silver has shown, these TV pundits are about as accurate as flipping a coin. I don't mind him having an opinion, but why should it get published? That is why we polling, to measure, not guess.

  • pjcamp on November 06, 2012 9:42 PM:

    And don't slap the monkey's taint unless you're riding a pop tart.